Clearly tis the season to do elections by the alternative vote (AV). In addition to a new member of the Lords being elected by the alternative vote at the moment (postal ballot papers went out during the week), there is now another AV election on its way.
Baroness Hayman has announced she will be stepping down as Speaker in the Lords in July. Her replacement will be elected by the alternative vote, just as she was in 2006.
The Lords isn’t unusual in using preferential or multi-round elections in this respect, because the Speaker in the Commons is elected over multiple rounds whilst the Commons deputy speakers are elected by the alternative vote.
Once again we’ve got a case of Parliamentarians having chosen to use AV for their own procedures and yet those very Parliamentarians who now tell us there are principled reasons why AV is wrong in general (not just arguments specific to general elections) were remarkably quiet when it came to choosing what election system they get to use to elect others.
It’s good enough for them to elect other people but not for us to elect them it would appear. Not exactly the strident principled stand they like to paint their views as being.